New York’s MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) selected Parsons Transportation Group as its Systems Engineering Consultant (SEC) for the East Side Access project, taking another step toward opening an extension to Grand Central Station by 2009. The East Side Access project, with construction estimated at $3.2 billion, is already underway.
Parsons Transportation Group's responsibilities will include integrating a state-of-the-art train control design with existing systems for the nation's busiest commuter railroad. Under the $103 million contract, Parsons will provide systemwide planning and final design for the railroad's track, power, signal, and communication systems from Sunnyside Yard in Queens to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, including interlocking improvement to support operations at LIRR's Harold and proposed new interlocking facilities. Parsons will also be responsible for design of the new LIRR station within Grand Central Terminal, modifications to New York City Transit Authority’s Lexington Avenue IRT Station, and operational improvements and support facilities at Sunnyside Yard.
Parsons Transportation’s CEO Robert O’Neil called the East Side project “the most ambitious since the days of Robert Moses.” With the addition of this project now in the pipeline, LIRR ranks second on METRO Magazine’s Top 50 agencies in North America with rail infrastructure programs. LIRR trains will access Grand Central Terminal from Queens via the nearly completed 63rd Street Tunnel under the East River. Revenue opening date is scheduled for sometime in 2009.